Containerized imports at U.S. ports in April are projected to increase 9 percent over April 2010, which would mark the 15th consecutive month of year-over-year improvement in the U.S. container trades.
"These numbers are an indication that the economy is recovering and retailers are expecting continued increases in sales through the summer and beyond," said Jonathan Gold, vice president for supply chain and customs policy at the National Retail Federation.
The projections were contained in the April Global Port Tracker published by the NRF and Hackett Associates.
By The Numbers: Containerized Ocean Trade - Southern California Ports
February was the last month for which Global Port Tracker has actual numbers, and they showed that containerized imports increased 10 percent over February 2010. However, February is also the slowest month of the year in the import trade from Asia, and February's volumes were down 8 percent from January 2011.
Global Port Tracker projected March as being up 11 percent over March 2010. Volumes in May are projected to increase 4 percent over May 2010, with June to show a 5 percent increase, July a 5 percent increase and August up 8 percent from the same months last year.
The first half of 2011 is forecasted to be up 8 percent from 2010. "The economy is slowly on the mend with many of the key short-term indicators providing positive directions, said Ben Hackett, founder of Hackett Associates.